How Sales Enablement Tools Can Remove Friction between Sales and Marketing

With the ever-growing technological solutions, it has never been easier to systematize and increase the efficiency of market-sales relations. However, in practice this is not always accomplished. Rarely does the market department have access to comprehensive, real-time client feedback, which is why it doesn’t manage to write the perfect, customized content which would strike a chord with the client. And we all know the importance of individualized approach to prospects—any sales-centric blog out there has at least one article about that topic!

The next problem is the very relationship between sales and market department. Sales blame marketers for not fulfilling their quotas, and the market department blames sales for not giving them the right info to tailor the right content. Do we really want these two departments in dispute? There’s an old Ethiopian saying, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.” But how to get there, you ask? By turning to technology. Technology-based sales enablement solutions are there to turn sales and marketing teams into best buddies.

What is Sales Enablement?

In the words of IDC, sales enablement is “getting the right information into the hands of the right sellers at the right time and place, and in the right format, to move a sales opportunity forward.” Simply put, sales enablement solutions are a systematic approach to boosting sales success by equipping reps with the content and analytics they need to have more successful sales conversations. A good sales enablement platform can bridge the gap between sales and marketing by offering a systematized, timesaving approach to storing, managing, using and adapting the marketing content.

Problem 1: Messy Content Management Systems

According to an IDC study, about 90% of marketing resources are used as one-offs and many sales opportunities are missed because the reps couldn’t find the right content for the right opportunity. Moreover, sales spend about one third of their time searching for the content or creating it themselves. Also, with too many people updating the CM without a clearly settled organized system, every platform can turn into a mess. Similar applies to cloud-based storages, such as Dropbox — with everyone uploading content as they go, looking for anything in there can turn into a nightmare.

Solution: Good content management systems, such as Box, Kapost, Sharepoint, are user-friendly, intuitive and logical. They are organized around minimizing search time and increasing existing content utilization. Sales enablement platforms can help saving reps’ and copy writers’ time by giving a clear insight into how successful each pitch was, with the reps’ real-time feedback about the effectiveness of the content, clients’ reaction and any necessary reports to follow the presentation. Not only are your reps saving time finding the content; you are also saving the cost of having to pay for additional content creation when an existing one can be recycled.

Problem 2: One-Size-Fits-All Approach to Prospects

In the present B2B sales world, nobody reacts to the one-size-fits-all approach any more. The client will sign you off the moment they sense it and turn to someone else who took the time to actually study their needs and tailor the offer accordingly – a recent study shows that almost 40% of sales reps do not perform this task effectively.

Solution: All our clients want to be treated as an individual. They expect to receive personalized treatment, addressing their every single need. Personalization through using sales enablement tools refers to a data-driven approach that matches content, media, and sales strategy with the person and stage in the sales process. Sales enablement tools, such as DemoChimp, use predictive analytics to recommend next steps for customizing buyer experience and adding value to the sales conversation (identifying what matters the most to key decision makers, customizing websites, targeting specific content to prospects, prioritizing leads, etc).

Problem 3: Limited Insight into Data Analytics

In a study from CIO Insights, 40% of respondents stated that insufficient and incomplete access to data analytics affects sales performance. A sales strategy based on analytics is focused on minimizing cost, maximizing effectiveness, improving productivity and driving profits.

Solution: Organizations that use sales analytics increase their quotas four times faster. Analytics are imperative. Today’s sales enablement platforms, such as Insights Squared, 6sense, Amacus, Fliptop, Lattice and Infer make it possible to measure pretty much everything: the success of marketing pitches, time necessary to close a deal, individual reps’ productivity score, etc. They can answer questions, such as:

  • Which content yielded the best results?
  • Which content are we better off without?
  • What was the response?
  • What can be borrowed from it and used on other clients?
  • Whom to message and how to message them?
  • What factors impacted the sales conversation success?
  • How to deliver relevant content?
  • What changes will improve performance?

Problem 4: Sales Team’s Low Productivity

Sales productivity is reported to be the biggest challenge for almost 65% of B2B companies. It is shown that less than one-third of a rep’s time goes to actual selling. Time spent on unproductive, repetitive tasks is the time spent not selling.

Solution: Today’s sales enablement solutions, Scrimmage and Marketbridge for example, help reps get up to speed fast, offer processes related to workflow automation and simplify sales process. Studies show that these processes increase productivity by 32%. So, instead of wasting time on unnecessary tasks, sales reps can focus on what they should be doing in the first place – core selling.

Resistance to Change

Introducing any new process requires investing a lot of time and effort in the beginning. This is why it might run into resistance, especially from the older, not-so-tech-savvy team members: “We always did it this way, why do we have to change now?” However, in order to function, a sales enablement tool-based system, just like any other system, needs full involvement and cooperation from all team members. Otherwise, it can easily end up looking like those old closets packed with brochures and flyers that market departments used in the nineties.

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